Music I like

As I was born in 1953, I was brought up listening to some classical music, but also enjoyed the start of “Rock ‘n’ Roll”. My Dad was a fan of Bill Haley, and I also found that I enjoyed listening to the blues.

Growing up in the sixties meant I was exposed to all the amazing sounds of that period, including the “summer of love”, with groups such as The Rolling Stones, Cream, The Nice, Jimi Hendrix, and so on.

Later came other groups such as The Groundhogs, Jethro Tull, Ten Years After, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Humble Pie, and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers.

At that time, many musicians had a grounding in classical music, so people like Keith Emmerson, Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, and others moved around the scene and started several groups.

Eric Clapton, together with Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page were in the Yardbirds at first, with Eric later forming Cream with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. Jeff Beck went on to form the Jeff Beck Group, and Jimmy Page founded Led Zeppelin.

Growing up with classical music at home gave me a good idea of what I enjoyed, and what I didn’t. My classical music tastes are somewhat mixed, as I enjoy listening to J. S. Bach, especially the organ works, and that also led me to composers such as Widor, whose Symphony for Organ No. 5 is one of my favourite pieces, especially when heard on a good cathedral organ.

I first heard it played at Ely Cathedral, and it was being belted out in a practice session by an organist preparing for a recital.

And then, when groups such as The Nice (keyboardist Keith Emerson, bassist/vocalist Lee Jackson, drummer Brian Davison, and guitarist David O’List) came out with the album entitled Five Bridges Suite.

This included a version of Sibelius’ Intermezzo from the Karelia Suite, and that made me listen to the orchestral version of the Karelia Suite, which I now often enjoy still.

When Keith Emerson went on to form Emerson, Lake and Palmer (ELP), they also kept on doing their own versions of classical pieces. One of my favourites is Pictures at an Exhibition, and I also enjoy the classical version, as well as the one by ELP.

By the late ‘60’s, a new sound was “electronic music” using machines like the Moog Synthesiser. This bred all kinds of spin-off’s, and I found I liked this style of music too. It was favoured by Keith Emerson, and used extensively with ELP.

Others came to make use of variations of the Moog, such as Pink Floyd, Jean-Michel Jarre, Mike Oldfield, Tangerine Dream, and Vangelis (Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou).

At this time, there were so many groups, some of which didn’t last long, but others are still around, some still playing, and others whose music is still played now, such as Santana.

Do you remember Deep Purple or the Moody Blues? Some of their songs are now considered “classics”, and still heard on the radio today.

Others are possibly less memorable, but still enjoyed by me!

How about Iron Butterfly, Ten Years After, Jethro Tull, Juicy Lucy, Blodwyn Pig, Canned Heat, Johnny Winter, or Chicken Shack, Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath and Black Widow?

Ten Years After featured Alvin Lee, who claimed to have the fastest fingers on the guitar.

The ‘70’s really produced a plethora of really good groups, and I think immediately of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Tyrannosauros Rex (the original with Marc Bolan and Steve Peregrine Took), not T.Rex as it later became.

The likes of the Moody Blues and Deep Purple were magical at the time.

There are other groups you may not know, such as Colosseum , a so-called progressive-rock band.

Any comments or suggestion, please send to

phil (at) gu0sup (dot) com